A tattoo is a permanent marking made by inserting ink into the skin to change the pigment for decorative purposes or for other reasons. Tattoos on humans have been perceived as a form of decorative body modification and have been used to emphasize or enhance one's looks. Tattooing has been practised worldwide for at least two centuries, but has been documented as having occurred in certain parts of the world since Neolithic times.
Tattooing has various meanings and uses for various peoples across the world.
>> Traditional tattoos among indigenous peoples around the world.
>> They serve as rites of passage in certain cultures.
In the Western world, tattoos are primarily used for cosmetic, sentimental or religious
reasons. Tattoos have been preferred as a form of identification, especially in
incarcerative setups, as the tattoo pigment is buried deep within the skin and is
usually not destroyed even by severe burns.
Tattooing when used for cosmetic purposes includes permanent makeup and hiding or neutralizing skin discolorations. Some tattoos have been used to convey medical information, such as the blood group of the wearer. Whatever the reason be for their creation, tattoos have a symbolism and impact that has varied across peoples, places and cultures.
Tattooing involves placing of pigment into the skin's dermis. The process of tattooing, however, does not take up much time given the modern equipment that has become available. This includes the electric tattoo machine which comes with several needles that are soldered onto a bar. These needles are packaged for single use and are sterile in the manufacturers packaging. A small tattoo may take only as much as 15 min to be completed, but larger and more complex tattoos with complex patterns and multiple pigments may need several sessions ranging over a few hours.